Jesse Watson Mystery
What You See
I lay there for what seem like an eternity. The air
was hot and humid from the late afternoon rain. My knee
was throbbing and the cut on my forehead was still
bleeding. I held my breath as I crouched down, hiding in
the damp leaves and the tangled mass of underbrush.
Coming here alone was a stupid mistake…possibly the last
one I would ever make. There was a killer on the loose
in the woods and he was searching for me.
Then I heard a twig snap…
I fixed a cup of coffee and walked over to the bay
window in the dining area. The sky was gray against the
green trees and a yard bursting with the color of
spring. Small raindrops had begun to fall, as I sat down
at the table. I began to read the newspaper, scanning
the want ads. I need a job. This
time last week, I thought my life was going into the
it probably was, but now, I had found myself a man,
lived in a great house, and would eventually find a good
job. I was so happy.
I searched the want ads until I had
decided it was hopeless. Every job I came across was
either something I couldn’t do, or wouldn’t do. I guess
Athena could sense my frustration, because she came over
and lay down under the table beside my feet. I reached
down and patted her head.
“Not to worry, girl. We’re going to do
fine. We have each other and a good home. How lucky can
we get?” I gathered my
wits and continued my job search, trying to put Cole out
of my head. I was just about to give up, when an ad
caught my eye.
Help Wanted. Office girl. Billy
200 Greenbriar Road, Charlottesville. No phone
The ad was appealing. I can do this, I
told myself. I hope the job hasn’t been taken. I bet
working for a private eye could be exciting. Yet, deep
in the back of my mind, I kept remembering that old
saying…Be careful of what you wish for…
Billy and I were about to embark on another adventure. I
could see it coming… jail was just a footstep away.
South River Incident
I drove away with a good feeling in my heart. I was
about to embark on another one of my adventures on the
road of life. It could only get better, or so I thought.
"Oh, Lord," I said out loud as I picked up my clothes,
one at a time and piled them on the bed. A pain shot
through my back all the way down to my calf. "I'm going
to burn in hell for this one." I had really fouled
things up this time. What was I thinking?
I threw a couple of logs on the fire, switched on the
television to keep the dogs company, and then headed to
the bathroom for a well-deserved soak. I grabbed a
couple of candles off the dresser and was ready to
relax. I'd just about dozed off in a sea of warm bubbles
when Athena came up to me and barked. "What?" I snapped
to attention. "What is it, girl?" She yelped and pranced
around in circles, her nose high in the air. Suddenly
she stopped, twisted her head to one side, and then
jumped on the tub with her front paws. She was silent
until I went to pat her head. A chilling howl came out
of her mouth that could have awakened the dead. I knew
she was trying to tell me something. "Back up and give
me a minute," I said to her as I reached for the towel
on the toilet seat. I jumped out of the tub, dried off
quickly and wrapped the towel around me. Athena turned
and ran. By the time I reached the living room my heart
was racing. My hair was wet and the water dripped down
my back. I stood frozen in shock, staring at what she
was trying to show me. A picture of a skull and
crossbones flashed on the computer screen. At the
bottom, a message appeared: STAY OUT OF MY BUSINESS OR
A pain shot through my skull like a sledgehammer. My
vision blurred as I fought to maintain control of the
car. But it was too late. The car careened off the road,
bounced in and out of a ditch, and then slammed into a
tree. My last conscious memory was of us hitting the
tree and that poor girl flying through the windshield.
Blood splatter was the last thing I saw before passing
Crying Shame (Book #3)
The crash pounded in my ears at first, and then I could
barely hear anything at all. I kept fading in and out as
the rescue workers placed me in the ambulance. Billy was
by my side, holding my hand and telling me over and over
that everything was okay as he held a blood-soaked rag
against his head. Finally, overwhelmed by the pain, I
closed my eyes and succumbed to the darkness.
When Claire and I walked out the door, I had no idea
that this simple plan would turn out to be not so simple
after all. I should've known better.
The snow was coming down so hard that I could barely see
the lines in the road. The windshield fogged up as I
fumbled to find the defroster switch while still trying
to keep my eyes on the road. I was scared. My sister was
going to die at the hands of a murderous psycho if I
didn't do something fast.
The tires on the Explorer were still spinning even
though it had come to rest in the ditch. I slammed on my
brakes and fishtailed to a stop, just inches away from
the drop off. I got out of the car and walked over to
the edge of the embankment. Snow pelted me in the face
as I looked down. The first thing I saw was a shattered
windshield covered with blood and a puddle of blood
outside the car in the snow. I fell to my knees and
screamed out Claire's name. My voice echoed through the
"DNA will get you every time," I said. "There's no
getting around it. Trace evidence is always left behind.
I hope he gets the death penalty. I say they should fry
Middle River Murders
Even though the mushrooms weren't the
real cause of Pat Johnson's death, Daisy Clark thought
they were. Her attitude about life changed in an
instant. A seed had been planted and a killer was born.
The blow to the head had not been
fatal, but it rendered her unconscious long enough for
the poison to do its job. Another member of the
Stanardsville Social Club was no more.
Athena stood up on her haunches and
started barking. She didn't stop until we reached the
end of Middle River Road. I should've known right then
she was trying to tell us something.
A terrible storm played havoc outside
as the hours slowly passed. By nightfall, she knew the
end had come. A dog's bark was the only true sign of
life outside the walls that confined her. She closed her
eyes and waited for her Lord to take her home.
Greene County Killer
The land of pleasant dreams is a place
where we can find comfort, solve everyday problems and
then awake feeling refreshed. At least, hopefully, most
of us have a place like that we visit occasionally when
we sleep. And then, there's that other place—the dark
side. The dark side of dreams is where evil lurks and
our worst fears are imagined. The most horrible thing
that can possibly happen in life will happen in that
place. Demons lurk there, and death is only a footstep
away. I know. I've been to that place many times.
Tonight, I had a long, ugly visit.
Furious, I screamed, "You won't live
long enough for that, punk-liar!" I pulled the gun from
my coat pocket, aimed it directly at his chest, and
squeezed the trigger.
With that said, we jumped into our
vehicles and headed down the road. Jonathan and Cole
went chasing after the bad guy, while Billy and I headed
to my mother's house to see what we could find in
Savannah Kelley's book. I had no idea how much worse it
was going to get, but I was about to find out.
Death on the Bella Constance
We watched as Norfolk and the
surrounding cities became a blur on the horizon. All we
could see was the blue of the open sea. It was
It was a little unsettling that we had been at sea
barely two hours, and already there had been a death on
board. What did that say about the next six days and
twenty-two hours? People weren’t supposed to die on a
cruise. This was a time for fun and relaxation, not
death and sadness.
“All right,” I said. “But I don’t want
to be shot at, kidnapped, or beat up. I want to have a
good time. Of course, if a little snooping has to be
done, we’re the ones to do it.”
Maggie jabbed at her sore repeatedly,
smearing blood across her lip as she did. She raised the
bloody fork, turned, and ran toward Peter Dawson. She
barreled into him with the force of a linebacker,
grabbing his arm, and then snatching him around to face
her. She raised her hand higher, and then plunged the
fork deep into the left side of his chest. Peter Dawson
fell to the floor—the fork still in his chest.
Savannah seemed to be coming unhinged. She shuddered as
she began to rant. "A crazed passenger stabs another one
with a fork… at the buffet table… no less. What next? A
shooting? We all know everyone on this gun-free ship has
a gun.” Her voice was getting louder by the second, and
tears spilled onto her cheeks. “I have one!” She turned
and asked a passenger, “How about you? Are you armed as
well?” She looked back at the captain, demanding to
know, “And when are we going to dock? There’s a storm
out there that’s sure to kill us if some psycho on board
doesn’t get to us first!”
“I don’t trust him,” Savannah said. “But I thought it
was just me.”
“No, it’s not just you,” I said. “He’s not what he
appears to be. He’s a fake. I think we’re going to see
the real side of him very soon.”
The beast was about to come out of hiding, changing
Loukas and Bella’s life forever.
We followed Loukas’ advice and maintained close contact
within the group. We snuggled together like a bunch of
penguins protecting their young eggs from the frigid
cold in Antarctica. We even walked like them. Savannah
was the first to laugh. By the time we got inside the
building, everyone was laughing. How silly we must’ve
looked—people bleeding and laughing.
Death was surely coming to get Dorothy Berdinski.
All About the Money
“I’ll be right there, Savannah. Are you alone? Where’s McCoy?”
“He’s not here, but I’m not alone either. I have a body in my garage!”
I flipped on the camcorder and watched the scene play out while Billy talked.
“The buy went down without a hitch, and then the police swarmed the area. Jones
panicked, pulled a gun, and the next thing I knew, he was laying on the concrete
with a bullet in his head.”
“What was the mistake you said you made? You worked with the cops to bring down
this guy. You didn’t have to. All you had to do was get pictures for the
insurance company. You could’ve stopped there, but you didn’t. You helped take a
drug dealer off the streets. What’s the problem?”
“The mistake I made was to ever trust the cops.”
“That was strange,” I said as I climbed up into the
passenger seat. “I thought she wanted us to snuff him out. Murder-for-hire isn’t
part of my job description.”
Digging out the seatbelt would soon prove to be a wise move. Barely a mile
from our house, Billy slammed on the brakes, and then started yelling
obscenities in his native tongue. I opened my eyes just in time to watch us
fishtailing down the road before we plunged into a ditch. The truck bounced
around and then slammed into something so hard it caused us to stop cold.
The rear end flew up for a split second at the moment of impact, and when it
dropped back down, the truck came to rest on its left side. The engine
stalled, and smoke billowed from under the hood.
I punched in Flo’s number and the call went through this time. When I heard the
first ring, I looked over at Billy and gave him the thumbs up sign. Before the
phone had a chance to ring a second time, a gunshot rang out from within the
Rhodes’ house. A second gunshot followed.
Something bad had just happened.
A gunshot blasted and echoed throughout the house.
In a flash, I jumped out of bed and ran to the kitchen, only to find it empty. I
looked down at the floor and saw blood everywhere. There was even blood on the
wall. It looked as if someone had just been brutally murdered. My heartbeat
quickened and my pulse raced. Then I noticed the front door was standing wide
“Where is everybody?” I cried out.
There was no response. I looked around for a second, and then ran to the door
out onto the porch. I stood there in the early morning light and looked around the yard. It was misty and overcast like it gets after a heavy storm, but
there was no denying what I saw next. A woman's body was lying on the ground, covered
with blood. She was motionless, her body limp like wet hair in the rain. I ran
to her, trying to maintain control and not cry. The minute I bent down to check
her out, someone came up behind me and smashed me over the head. I blacked out.
I laughed at his silliness, but my insides were shaking
like one of those wobbly headed dolls. Would this simple task turn out to be not
so simple? I crossed my fingers.
“Savannah’s going to drown in this mess, and when the
truth comes out, it’s going to be nasty. She’ll be selling her books at yard
Billy just shook his head again, and I knew right then
and there, this wasn’t going to end well for us. A woman scorned… is a bad
Billy and I stopped talking and waited. Our heads were on the chopping block,
and the axe was raised.
Then, Sheriff Hudson delivered the blow.
Billy pulled into the driveway and parked the truck. The
long, summer night would soon be upon us. We had survived another day.
Savannah was standing at the counter in her kitchen,
pouring pills and booze into a food processor. She had a sadistic, evil look on
her face as she blended, folded, and grated her concoction of poison. She poured
the potion into a huge glass, and then walked over to McCoy, who was tied to a
chair. Cole held McCoy’s head back as Savannah emptied the glass down his
throat. Then the two of them started stuffing pills into his mouth. They stuffed
and stuffed until the pills started falling out of the sides. Cole and Savannah
picked up every fallen one, and shoved them back in. Suddenly, McCoy’s head
exploded, and all that was left was a big pile of pills.
Lu Ann confirmed my suspicion. “They almost always keep a memento,” she said,
her voice coming through the speakerphone on Billy’s cell. “Whether it’s to
remind them of how bad they’ve been, or to validate their accomplishments,
they’d keep something. If she stole the pills and did what you said, she still
has the bottle. It would give her comfort to know she got over on everyone.
She’d take pride in her memento, and most likely, put it someplace special… like
in a drawer… or jewelry box.”
“That does it for me,” I said. “I’m ready to shake her down! Let's take out the
“Keep in mind that she’s unstable. When you confront her, she might not go along
with your offer to let her turn herself in. She’ll fight back.”
“And do what?”
“Kill you in your sleep.”
“Oh, come on, Lu Ann! She’s not a killer.”
“That’s not what you’ve been telling me for the last ten minutes. Look, Jesse.
It doesn’t matter how or why she kills. A killer is a killer.”
She was going to be the one that
A collection of six short
stories, including one alternate ending, for your lunch break reading
pleasure. Approximately 27,000 words.
A quick read. Suspense, murder, and something a little different.
on Kindle only.
*Encounter—A late night call sends
Lila on a dangerous journey.
*No More—An abusive husband and a road
trip turns deadly for Denise.
*A Gray Area—Lonnie faces the
aftermath of his wife’s murder. Will he get revenge?
*A Gray Area 2 (alternate ending)
*Instincts—Sarah’s blind date goes
*Bittersweet—Evidence of a cheating
husband causes a wife to panic.
*The Irony of It All—Lois plans the
murder of her husband.